After an entire season of speculation which saw Kevin Durant pushed back into the world of free agency rumors, he chose the Brooklyn Nets as his new home. Last time Durant switched teams via free agency when the superstar forward left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, it was met with scorn and ire from fans, players, and media alike. This time, it was different. The Nets were not the controversial choice that the Warriors were, and Durant had many reasons to be excited about his new team.
Durant has given many reasons for his move to Brooklyn, and they serve as a fascinating insight into his mind. Which one played the biggest part, what was the true reason?
Just like starting over
From the moment that Kevin Durant published his intention to sign with Golden State, he was criticized by many for going to a situation where it would be easy to win and he wouldn’t be considered a part of the team.
Even though Durant may have been the best player on his team in Golden State, Steph Curry is and was the team’s leader, and Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and even role players like Shaun Livingston were more burnt into the DNA of the franchise.
Durant has since acknowledged that he never truly felt like he was a part of the Warriors team. The other guys were there before, and many of them are there after him.
He may have gotten two titles out of his stay there, but he will not be the face of these years for the Warriors. Instead, he will be a Superstar who was there, but who helped the other names achieve more glory.
Durant has long been interested in life outside of basketball. He invests his money in companies around the world and likes to dip his toes into different waters on everything from food to entertainment.
Because of this, New York City was the perfect place to go. While rumors persisted that Durant was interested in the New York Knicks for years leading up to his decision, he has since said that he didn’t sign there because nobody wants to play for the Knicks.
Brooklyn, however, offers Kevin Durant a chance to usher in the era of basketball that the Nets have hoped for since relocating from New Jersey. They have a fancy arena, a definable look, and other stars, but have not yet done anything that they set out to do when they took the move across the Hudson. When Durant comes back next season, he could have a legacy as he wanted in Golden State with or without a ring.
Kevin Durant’s friendships with Nets players
When people think about the first Cavaliers team that Durant faced off against in the NBA Finals, they probably think about his connections with LeBron James. Durant, however, had a different friend in Cleveland who is now playing by his side. Kyrie Irving and Durant have been friends for years, and rumors that this friendship could lead to something were part of the rumor mill regarding both leading up to the decision.
Add this to the fact that the Nets brought in DeAndre Jordan, and Durant has a group he can feel comfortable in the way he was seeking to with the Warriors. People often forget about the humanity of players, and Durant’s desire to play with friends is understandable.
This underrated factor was probably the biggest part of Durant’s decision to play for the Nets. Many suspect this was the true reason for him joining the team. He has never gotten a chance to play with his friends before. Now, we must wait and see what the year leading up to his debut will bring.
Did Kevin Durant make the right choice?
Kevin Durant needed to do what was best for him. Whether or not he looks back fondly in Golden State, it offered a new chapter in his career that changed his perception around the league. Now, as he rehabilitates his torn Achilles, he might have a chance to remind the league that he is one of the best players in the history of the NBA.
This confluence of reasons might not make sense to all, but the confluence of all of them could be what drives Durant to a thrilling third act in his career.